|Joan Giblin, NP, an oncology nurse practitioner at the Emory Winship Cancer Institute, is featured in the January issue of Redbook magazine. The article profiles how a compassionate Ms. Giblin transformed a Winship patient's fears into hope.
In 1998, when Patrick Kardian and his wife Jennifer learned that he been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, they focused all of their energies on his battle against the devastating disease. To them, the future was uncertain and what mattered most to them was the here and now. However, all of that changed when Ms. Giblin asked the Kardians if they wanted to have children someday and suggested that they preserve some of Mr. Kardian's sperm in case his chemotherapy treatments affected his fertility. Because they were unsure of Mr. Kardian's chances of survival, the couple was hesitant. Giblin asked them: "Wouldn't you want a piece of Patrick to live on even if he dies?" The Kardians knew then what they wanted to do. Mr. Kardian set aside a sample at a sperm bank.
As Mr. Kardian's battle continued, his lymphoma went into remission and returned. During this period, Ms. Giblin remained a constant source of support for the couple, even conducting extensive research on recurring Hodgkin's disease to find a more effective treatment for Mr. Kardian. In the article, Mrs. Kardian recalls, "It became almost a personal mission for her to help us." After a successful treatment of a stem cell transplant and radiation, the Mr. Kardain's battle was finally over.
Today the Kardians are the happy parents of a one-year-old daughter. Through in vitro fertilization using the healthy sperm her husband set aside, Jennifer Kardian was able to get pregnant. "I'm very grateful to Joan," says Mr. Kardian. "She didn't sugarcoat reality." His wife agrees, noting, "She watched over us."
"Being featured in Redbook magazine is such a wonderful surprise for me, and I feel honored," says Ms. Giblin, "To know that I helped changed the Kardians' lives is amazing. I'm very happy for them."